A Review

I Tried A $65 "Pleasure Serum" For Stronger Orgasms

The internet has rave reviews, but I'm skeptical about the scent.

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I am, to some degree of chagrin, easily enticed by Instagram ads promising me harder, better, faster, stronger orgasms. And so, when I got targeted ads for Vella, a line of sexual wellness products that claims to be “clinically proven to support women’s pleasure,” I had to try it.

Because — not to be crass here — I like to orgasm quite frequently. I am always holding a small amount of hope that there is another level to unlock. Another sex horizon to cross.

The truth is I don’t actually need any help in this department. I have never had much trouble having an orgasm, especially on my own. Plus, my current partner is beyond good and reliable at making me come. So it’s not like I’m in a deficit here; I’m simply a greedy person.

What Is Vella Pleasure Serum?

Vella Pleasure Serum is an arousal cream made with cannabidiol (CBD), among other ingredients intended to help you come. According to the brand, CBD may help “relax the involuntary muscles involved in orgasm,” while the serum’s liposomes (small, fluid-filled sacs) help deliver the CBD more quickly and effectively through the skin barrier. Vitamin E “soothes, protects, and moisturizes the skin.” The cream aims to deliver “easier, longer, more intense orgasms.”

Fast Facts:

  • Price: $65 for 25 milliliters/0.8 fl ounces… or about $4 per orgasm
  • Best for: People with vulvas who have issues reaching an orgasm
  • What I like: Simple to use, feels nice, might help you come
  • What I don’t like: Takes 15 to 20 minutes to activate, doesn’t smell or taste great

How To Use Vella

The cream comes in a small jar with a built-in pump. (Tres chic, non?) One issue I had was that it took me a little bit to get the airless pump jar to work. I couldn’t tell if I was supposed to remove the tiny plastic ring on the top or not. (I guessed correctly: You’re not supposed to.) It took probably 10 to 20 pumps for the jar to actually release anything.

You’re supposed to use three pumps each time you use the Pleasure Serum, which means that there are 16 uses per jar, which comes out to about $4 an orgasm.

The brand recommends putting the arousal cream on your inner labia and clit 15 to 20 minutes before sex or masturbation. Vella is also safe to use with condoms and toys.

First Impression

Unfortunately, it doesn’t smell great. Admittedly, my sense of smell can be a little sensitive, but I don’t think anyone would disagree. It’s not god-awful, but the scent is clinical, almost with the salinity of a nasal allergy spray. On its own, the fragrance (or lack thereof) wouldn’t get me more in the mood.

The biggest barrier for me to using this again was honestly the smell and, therefore, the taste.

Other than that, it’s seemingly hard to mess up. The application was simple and the cream absorbed easily into my skin.

Maybe I’m too used to tingly face masks and plumping lip glosses that burn, but I was waiting to feel something. Truthfully, some small part of my brain thought this would instantly make me cartoon-awooga-eyes level horny, but that’s not quite how it works. The product is meant to help you orgasm once you’re already turned on, not to magically turn you on from scratch.


I used Vella’s Pleasure Serum once alone and twice during sex. None of the times would I say I felt a difference in how quickly or easily I came, though I’m almost sure this is because I’m already having an OK time with that.

That said, the Internet has tons of (surprisingly sweet) raves about the product, many from people’s partners: One review titled “Fiery Nights” says, “It works great for my wife. Our nights are hot once again.” Others mentioned things like being able to orgasm for the first time in 15 years after long-term selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) use. Multiple reviews from postpartum women raved about the serum, with one saying “My body now responds to intimacy the way it used to, and I have a desire that I haven’t felt since before kids.”

Personally, though, I found the wait time a bit of a mood killer. The first time I attempted to use it, I got too impatient to have sex just five minutes after I applied it. Luckily, the product’s effects can last up to two hours, so if you suspect that you might bang later in the evening, you have a little bit of time. (Don’t worry, we tried the serum again.)

If you’re having orgasms on the regular with no trouble, you’re probably not going to notice much of a difference — which is fine!

The biggest barrier for me to using this again was honestly the smell and, therefore, the taste. My boyfriend agreed it wasn’t great. Though Vella says it’s “safe to taste,” it isn’t a particularly yummy flavor. I tried a tiny bit of it, and it tasted like lotion. Is this the end of the world? No, absolutely not. But I wouldn’t really want someone to go down on me with it on.

Final Verdict

Vella seems to work best for those who are having issues with orgasm for any reason, from medications that reduce libido or sensitivity, to mental health issues, to postpartum concerns. If you’re having orgasms on the regular with no trouble, you’re probably not going to notice much of a difference — which is fine! Enjoy your O privilege!

For anyone with orgasm issues, though, it seems worth trying — just know you’re going to have to wait a little bit for the effect to kick in.